As unrealistic sellers come down, Hamptons sales activity rises

April 04, 2012 10:00AM

Sales activity is picking up in the Hamptons as sellers are beginning to lower unrealistic asking prices set when memories of the boom years were still fresh, Reuters reported. Home prices on the East End increased for six consecutive years between 2002 and 2007, but suddenly activity came to a halt because sellers’ prices were seen as too high, according to multiple real estate executives. Those sellers looked to blame everything but the economy, brokers say, including the listing agent, the marketing strategy and the appraisal.

But having realized the state of the market they have now begun lowering prices. As a result, pending contract sales have increased for five straight months in Suffolk County, a sign that a recovery is taking hold.

Though declining Wall Street bonuses had many concerned about the market, the unseasonably warm winter and the strong year-to-date stock market gains have compensated for lost pay. Further, with the economic outlook improving and increased interest from international financiers, Reuters said, more buyers have emerged willing to meet the sellers in the middle and take on a second home.

“The enthusiasm of the buyers is something we haven’t seen in years,” said Corcoran Group President Pamela Liebman. “We still have a lot of unrealistic sellers, but they’re beginning to come down and meet the market.”

Meanwhile, rental prices in the Hamptons are surging. [Reuters]